Why Choose Portugal for Your Next Yoga Retreat?
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The most spectacular beaches in Europe, remarkable surf spots, award-winning wines, exquisite cuisine, plenty of ancient castles, lots of history, incredibly nice people, affordable prices… Do you really need to be convinced to visit this paradise on Earth?
With warm weather year-round and golden shorelines all throughout its territory, a yoga retreat in Portugal is the perfect excuse to visit one of the most beautiful and picturesque countries in the world.
Want us to go into details? Here are 7 reasons to choose Portugal as the next destination for a yoga vacation!
The gorgeous beaches
You won’t get enough of the fantastic beaches you’ll find in Portugal. There are around 150 beaches in the region of the Algarve alone, which means plenty of opportunities for sunbathing and a soothing yoga session feeling the soft sand between your toes.
Nazaré beach, in central Portugal, has incredible views. Just proceed with caution if you want to swim in the ocean since it constantly gets enormous waves.
Known as “the new Algarve”, Tróia Peninsula is a 13 km stretch of jaw-dropping beaches with crystal-clear water and fine white sand. Just 55 km away from Lisbon, makes for a good option for a day trip from the capital. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see dolphins swimming near the shore. A good alternative in the area is Portinho da Arrabida, just a 1-hour drive south of Lisbon.
And the gorgeous Portuguese beaches go well beyond mainland Portugal. The Azores and Madeira Island are home to some of the most popular beaches. Such is the case of Praia Formosa in the Azores or Calheta in Madeira.
Bottom line: a beach yoga retreat in Portugal sounds like an excellent plan for your next vacation!
The surfing scene (+yoga)
Many of the above-mentioned beaches are also great spots for surfing, especially the Algarve, which is a mecca of surfing. Praia do Amado is one of Portugal’s best-known surfing beaches and it’s suitable for all levels. But there are plenty of more options in Aljezur, Faro or Lagos.
As a yogi, you’d be surprised to know how much your practice on the mat can benefit from a good session on the board. Take advantage of the opportunity and spice up your yoga holiday in the Algarve with a little bit of surfing.
Outside of the Algarve, Ericeira and Peniche are probably two of the top surfing destinations in the world. Both places offer options for beginners and dozens of yoga retreats are held on their spectacular beaches. And even if you’re not into riding waves, the chilled vibes of the surfing culture align quite well with the mindful yoga lifestyle.
Exquisite food & wine
If you like wine, this is the only reason you need to make Portugal your next stop. Producing top-notch wine is one of its most ancient traditions and it’s one the whole world is grateful for.
The Alentejo region and Douro Valley are the main areas of wine production and both are worth a trip during your retreat. But the flavorful wine isn’t the only reason to visit, specifically Alto Douro has a stunning landscape of high hills covered with vines.
And what to say about the food? For starters, you haven’t visited Portugal if you don’t try the famous pastéis de nata, delicious egg tarts that you can only find here. The cozido à portuguesa is an icon consisting of boiled meats, sausages and vegetables. Caldo verde is a mouth-watering cabbage soup. And, if you’re not vegetarian, the grilled sardines are a delightful must.
Rich history & culture
The melting pot that is Portugal after so many cultures have passed through this territory, has made it a unique country with fascinating architecture, vast traditions and rich history. Nonetheless, it has kept the same borders since the 11th century, making Portugal one of the oldest nations in Europe with plenty of well-preserved historical sites.
Sintra is a beautiful city, close to Lisbon and easily accessible, where you can explore ancient castles and palaces. Guimarães is the birthplace of Alfonso I, the first king of Portugal; you can feel the importance of this place just by walking on the streets en route to the Castle of Guimarães. The University of Coimbra, founded in 1290, is one of the oldest in the world. And last but not least, the Castle of São Jorge in Lisbon is another symbol of Portugal and the views from it are incredible.
» Read our guide and learn more about the most popular yoga destinations in Portugal.
Portugal is characterized by year-long warm weather. However, during summer months, it receives sea breezes that avoid extremely high temperatures. The maximum temperature reaches 78°F (25°C), which is just perfect to enjoy its striking beaches.
The Atlantic-facing coast could have several rainy days, especially over the winter, but it really doesn’t affect too much your vacation. The sun always comes to the rescue rather sooner than later.
Portuguese people are cheerful by nature. They have a contagious way of embracing life and are excellent hosts who try their best to make you feel good during your visit.
Aside from their hospitality, they also know how to party. The nightlife in Lisbon is wild and it lasts well into the morning. Porto has an energetic music scene that attracts lots of artists ready to light up any bar you go to.
And as if it was not enough, Portuguese have tons of festivals throughout the year. The Santos festivities occur in June, which fills the streets with parades, music, dance, food and wine. Being a Catholic country, they also embrace carnival right before the season of Lent; Sesimbra and Torres Vedras are two good places to be at this time.
Ideal for budget travelers
Choose Portugal for your next yoga trip and you’ll get a good feeling of the European charm without breaking the bank. Portugal has as tasteful cuisine as the Mediterranean countries; as good or better wine than France, Italy or Spain; similar magical atmosphere as Ireland; pristine beaches like in Greece; and as much history as Germany.
But the best part is that you’ll get it all at a fraction of the cost. For whatever reason, Portugal is still considerably cheaper than all other Western European countries and a great option for a budget yoga retreat in Europe.
Don’t have too many days for a long Portuguese vacation? Go on a short yoga break in Portugal!